Viola Davis closing in on overall deal to play Amanda Waller in DC movie universe
Credit: Warner Bros Home Video

Viola Davis closing in on overall deal to play Amanda Waller in DC movie universe

If you've got to replace Angela Bassett, Viola Davis is a heck of a choice

If Viola Davis is going to be the Samuel L. Jackson of the DC movie universe, I am perfectly fine with that.

If you're not terribly familiar with Amanda Waller, the character she is in final negotiations to play in a number of different DC movies, let me recommend a recent DC animated film to you as a sort of crash course in both Waller and the Suicide Squad. "Batman: Assault on Arkham" will give you a pretty decent idea of what you can expect when David Ayer's "Suicide Squad" hits theaters in August of 2016.

Read Full Post
'Predestination' directors on Ethan Hawke and their gender-bending time travel trip
Credit: HitFix

'Predestination' directors on Ethan Hawke and their gender-bending time travel trip

The Spierigs are back after a five-year absence with a challenging new film

Ethan Hawke had a pretty great experience at SXSW this year. It marked the hometown premiere of Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," and he was also there with a new film from Michael and Peter Spierig. He starred in their last film, "Daybreakers," back in 2009, and having him onboard for "Predestination" was what allowed them to get it made.

The Spierigs fascinate me. Their first film, "Undead," was stylish and lovely, but I thought it was also dramatically inert, miscast in a critical role. Hollywood's been flirting with them since the moment they made that film, and "Daybreakers" looked like a big step forward, with recognizable movie stars like Hawke, Willem Dafoe, and Sam Neill. It didn't connect, though, and now five years later, they're back with a much smaller film, although no less ambitious than anything they've done so far.

Read Full Post
Review: Even Liam Neeson's massive body count can't liven up the dull 'Taken 3'
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review: Even Liam Neeson's massive body count can't liven up the dull 'Taken 3'

HitFix
C-
Readers
n/a
Lots of mayhem adds up to nothing at all

Hey, Warner Bros, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that someone finally cracked the way to remake "The Fugitive."

The bad news is that "Taken 3" is that movie, and it's for another studio.

Serial killer John Taken (Liam Neeson) is back in the swing of things as he kills his way through an ocean of anonymous mobsters because something something money something shaky-cam something something killed bare handed.

Read Full Post
A new column examines what might have been with Brad Pitt and 'To The White Sea'
Credit: Paramount Pictures

A new column examines what might have been with Brad Pitt and 'To The White Sea'

A mysterious theater gives us a look at a film that should have been made

THE CORNER SHOW #1
discovered and curated by Drew McWeeny

The following is the first installment in a new regular feature here at HitFix. People are fascinated by stories of films that were almost made, and we've certainly dug into that subject in the past. This is a new way of doing that in an ongoing format, and we hope you enjoy what is meant to be a game, a fun way of looking at an alternate movie history.

It is safe to say that I had a very challenging 2014. So maybe what happened was a complete break with reality. Who could blame me? There's only so much anyone can take, and I've certainly had my own limits tested recently.

So trust me.. at first, I considered forgetting all about what happened this past weekend and never writing a word about it. But it was so strange and so special that before I get underway with our regularly scheduled programming, I feel like I have to write this up and share it.

Let's be clear. You're not going to believe what I have to tell you today.

Read Full Post
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' gets dangerous with addition of 'The Raid 2' stunt team
Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' gets dangerous with addition of 'The Raid 2' stunt team

Oh, man, I hope they give that one dude laser knives

Even the staunchest haters of "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," will most likely admit a grudging respect for the way Ray Park brought Darth Maul to life. Casting a talented stunt performer who could also act was the smartest thing Lucas did in that whole film, because Park brought that physicality to everything he played in the film, even when he was just pacing.

When I recently posted my "Top Ten Of 2014" list, I had "The Raid 2" right there at #10 on the list. I think it's an incredibly made film, and a big part of that is because the stunt team on that movie is top-notch, unrelenting, and precise in a way that allows them to do things that look impossible. As you can see in the piece embedded at the top of this article, I spoke with Iko Uwais, the star of the film, at Sundance a year ago. I think these guys are crazy good at what they do.

Read Full Post
The curious case of Rotten Tomatoes and 'The Brass Teapot'
Credit: Magnolia Pictures

The curious case of Rotten Tomatoes and 'The Brass Teapot'

HitFix
B-
Readers
n/a
A look at a different aspect of the relationship between filmmakers and critics

A little over a week ago, I got an e-mail from Stuart Zakim, a publicist I've heard from a few times in the past, and I scanned it, as I try to scan everything that hits my e-mail box.

Here's where I'm going to give you a look at how the sausage gets made. For the most part, I write based on instinct and time and opportunity. I would like to write ten times the material I write at the moment, because there are that many things I'd like to share with you. There are that many things worth discussing. And every time I feel the moment to discuss something slip by, and I don't get a chance to write about something, it drives me crazy.

So one of the things I try not to get pulled into is what I like to call "other people's priorities." That sounds heartless, and there are moments where it feels heartless, but I have to have some rules about what I'll cover. There are things that are obviously very important to the people who are e-mailing me, and considering I get about 30 of those a day on slow days and sometimes many more than that, there's absolutely no way I can even begin to do that for all of them.

Read Full Post
Neill Blomkamp reveals some thrilling concept art for an unmade 'Alien' film
Credit: Neill Blomkamp

Neill Blomkamp reveals some thrilling concept art for an unmade 'Alien' film

You can tell 'Aliens' is this guy's favorite movie

What the heck was Neill Blomkamp working on?

In several interviews he gave in 2013, Blomkamp said that he would love to do an "Alien" film, but I don't remember ever hearing any official news that he had been hired to do any development towards that goal. I remember him saying that "Aliens" was his favorite film of all time at a special "Elysium" event as well, so it's something that is in his blood.

Yesterday, though, Blomkamp decided to start the New Year off with a blast. He posted eight images to his Instagram account that suggest that he was indeed developing an "Alien" movie. His captions also suggest that the movie is now dead. From his comments on Twitter, it sounds like he never had the gig officially, but instead was working on this material as a thing he wanted to pitch to the studio at some point, and for whatever reason, his enthusiasm has now cooled and he seems to be off to other projects.

Read Full Post

Here we go, 2015

The first day of 2015 is drawing to a close, and I'm watching my first movie of the year.

I remember enjoying "Sleepy Hollow" when it came out, and I'm struck again by how much fun it looks like both Burton and Depp are having all the way through. It doesn't work 100%, but considering how much I genuinely loathe "Alice In Wonderland," it's hard to believe it's the same creative team a mere decade earlier.

Read Full Post
2015's most anticipated movies from 'Star Wars' to 'SPECTRE'
Credit: HitFix

2015's most anticipated movies from 'Star Wars' to 'SPECTRE'

We showcase 40 of the most exciting titles from the year ahead

What lands a film a spot on our "most anticipated" list?

That was a question we discussed internally as we started voting on the films on this list, and 2015 is a particularly dense year for releases. So many movies, so many big movies, and so many reasons to be excited.

We ended up using a hard-to-quantify mix of our own personal interests, the buzz that we've sensed from you, our readers, as we've been covering these films so far, and a sense based on other things we've seen and heard that add up to a movie we believe will be part of the larger conversation in some significant way.

Is it any surprise that "Star Wars" is on top of this list? From the morning the news broke that Disney had acquired Lucasfilm, there has been an amazing amount of scrutiny placed on every single tidbit of information about the plan for how to bring "Star Wars" back to life. And even so, JJ Abrams has done an exceptional job at controlling how much information is out there, so there's plenty of room for discovery ahead for audiences as the next year unfolds.

That's a big part of anticipation. There are plenty of movies that arrive in theaters already fully digested by pop culture, so the release of the film feels almost like an anti-climax. For the films on this list, we're counting on there being plenty that you don't know, plenty of surprises still to be had, and plenty of pleasures ahead. It's such an exciting year that we pushed our original 25 spots on the list to a full 40, and we still feel like there's plenty we missed.

Here it is. Dig in. Let us know which ones of these you're excited about, and which ones we've convinced you about, and what you feel like we should have included. And then buckle up because 2015's going to be a big one, end to end.

Vote for your most anticipated movie of 2015 in the poll below.

Read Full Post
Yipee Ki Yay! Film Nerd 2.0 shares a 'Die Hard' and 'Scrooged' holiday double-feature
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Yipee Ki Yay! Film Nerd 2.0 shares a 'Die Hard' and 'Scrooged' holiday double-feature

Perhaps not the most conventional of holiday fare, sure, but effective

Toshi feels emboldened these days, and he's getting a bit ahead of himself.

After he saw "The Terminator," he spent an afternoon going through my Blu-ray shelves and moving things around. It always makes me laugh when he leaves because I can see exactly what he's been thinking about. He's got a bunch of R-rated movies on his mind, and for the vast majority of them, he's out of his mind. No way. Not for years still.

But there are some films that are going to sneak into the rotation, and this year, I was given a very clear mandate for one of the weekends the boys spent here: Christmas movies only. The boys were in a particularly rowdy mood when we got together, and at the end of the day, I told the boys they were going to get a double-feature if they got totally ready for bed before the movies. Pajamas were changed into, pillows and blankets moved out to the couch, and we settled in for an evening together.

Read Full Post